There's a brand-new way to achieve your babylights hair goals, and if you're lucky, you'll probably be able to sneak in a nap during the process—or at the very least, feel like Kendall Jenner in that now-infamous aerial Instagram. Fluid hair painting, a highlighting method created by hairstylist Kaite Lyn Christoffersen of Michigan's Cheeky Strut Salon, involves having the client lay down onto a table while the colorist layers on a handful of varying tones. The result is a head of natural-looking highlights with nary a line of demarcation to be seen.
Ever the hair whisperer, the method was one that came to Christoffersen in a dream. "I actually had a dream about coloring hair that was fanned-out, and thought it would be so amazing to have that kind of control over the hair while overdirecting it in different ways," she tells InStyle. "The finished result you get is very fluid in movement, which is why we named it fluid hair painting, and when you drop the hair down from being overdirected, it creates this shift in color so you can't really tell where the highlight is coming from." Similar to the way your hair took on multiple tones after too much time in the sun as a kid, the final color is full of dimension and movement.
The entire process takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, and is much easier on the head than heavy foils. After the bleach, color is applied, if needed, followed by a handful of Pravana ChromaSilk Express Tones. You can get the color touched up at your leisure depending on how you like to see it grow out—Christoffersen has had some clients come in just once a year between glossing treatments—just be sure to add hydrating products into your after-care regimen.
Christoffersen has been practicing fluid hair painting for almost two years, but the technique quickly went viral after a post on Instagram launched a thousand more attempts at the method, all populating the #FluidHairPainting hashtag. Due to the demand, she's actually developing an adjustable table of her own, equipped with a padded head rest for the client to lay on, and will embark on a national tour to teach classes on fluid hair painting starting in January. Stylists interested in taking a class should head over to cheekystrut.com to check out when Kaite Lyn and her team will be in a location near you, and if you're eager to get the service done, start stalking the #FluidHairPainting tag like it's your man's Instagram. Countless stylists are trying their own hands at the method, though Christoffersen hopes the trend will become more widespread as she works to get more pros certified. "It's a way you can create really organic, beautiful, natural-looking color tailored to you as an individual," she adds. "You get a whole array of different tones with one application, and it's an enjoyable process for both the stylist and the client."